Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Spanish Prime Minister's Speech on Gay Marriage


not legislating, honorable members, for people far
away and not known by us. We are enlarging the
opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our
co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same
time we are making a more decent society, because a
decent society is one that does not humiliate its
members. . .

Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of
people who, during many years have been humiliated,
whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been
offended, their identity denied, and their liberty
oppressed. Today the Spanish society grants them the
respect they deserve, recognizes their rights,
restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and
restores their liberty.

It is true that they are only a minority, but their
triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph
of those who oppose this law, even though they do not
know this yet: because it is the triumph of liberty.
Their victory makes all of us (even those who oppose
the law) better people, it makes our society better.
Honorable members, there is no damage to marriage or
to the concept of family in allowing two people of the
same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens
is this class of Spanish citizens get the potential to
organize their lives with the rights and privileges of
marriage and family. There is no danger to the
institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite:
this law enhances and respects marriage.

Today, conscious that some people and institutions are
in a profound disagreement with this change in our
civil law, I wish to express that, like other reforms
to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law
will generate no evil, that its only consequence will
be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human
beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of
decent human beings is a better society.

With the approval of this bill, our country takes
another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that
was begun by the democratic change of government. Our
children will look at us incredulously if we tell them
that many years ago, our mothers had less rights than
our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to
stay married against their will even though they were
unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a
beautiful lesson: every right gained, each access to
liberty has been the result of the struggle and
sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition
and praise.